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Magnolia Soap

This homemade magnolia soap recipe features a dewy magnolia scent and is packed with skin-loving ingredients. The moisturizing soap is easy to make and comes together quickly thanks to a melt-and-pour base and luxurious magnolia oil.

3 pieces of magnolia soap on a wooden board surrounded by magnolia flowers.

Homemade magnolia soap bars

If you are looking for a soap to complete your spring skincare lineup, or any time of year really, try my DIY magnolia soap recipe!

The elegant soap bars gently cleanse and nourish for soft, smooth skin with a beguiling spring scent.

Magnolia essential oil lends the soap a natural floral scent. It’s a soft-spoken fragrance, sweet and delicate, and almost impossible not to fall in love with.

Moisturization and nourishment are delivered through the addition of vitamin E and super-hydrating sodium PCA.

I also like to give this soap as a gift to my girlfriends. The feminine fragrance and elegant design are always well received, and it’s an easy handmade gift idea.

If you have never enjoyed magnolia soap before, it’s time to do so! You are going to love the mild cleansing, silky texture, and delicate magnolia blossom scent.

Once you discover how wonderful magnolia essential oil is, you will feel tempted to create more magnolia-scented DIYs. Be sure to try our magnolia perfume and magnolia soy candles!

Magnolia soap benefits

  • Gentle cleansing: The soap produces a creamy, soft leather and cleanses gently.
  • Moisturizing: My magnolia soap recipe is enriched with magnolia oil, vitamin E, and sodium PCA, which are celebrated for their ability to hydrate and moisturize the skin.
  • Nourishing: I have packed the recipe with ingredients that nourish and strengthen the skin.
  • Exquisite scent: The soap is infused with natural magnolia essential oil for a beautiful, dewy floral fragrance that is sure to please your senses. After washing, the scent lingers and perfumes your skin. A true delight!
  • Beautiful gift: Homemade magnolia soap also makes a gorgeous gift for your friend and family or as a bridal shower favor.
magnolia soap bar leaning against a marble container.

Materials & supplies

Because I wanted a moisturizing soap, there are a few unique skincare ingredients. You can order them on Amazon and online cosmetic supply stores. If you’d like to know more about each ingredient, check the ingredient details section below.

Tools

  • Digital scales to weigh out the soap.
  • Cutting board and paring knife to cut the soap into cubes.
  • Large glass measuring cup or another microwave-safe, heat-resistant container to melt the soap base.
  • Soap mold to form the magnolia soap bars. I used the oval mold form this set.
  • Spray bottle to spritz the melted soap and dissolve bubbles.
  • Small bowl to mix the mica paint.
  • Flat soft brush to paint on the details.

Magnolia soap scents

Magnolia essential oil infuses this soap with a delicate floral aroma. I have scented my soap with pure magnolia oil, but you can experiment with the blends below to create more sophisticated soap scents.

  • Pure Magnolia: 50 drops magnolia essential oil
  • Magnolia Bouquet: 35 drops magnolia + 15 drops jasmine absolute + 7 drops rose absolute
  • Spring Blooms: 30 drops magnolia essential oil + drops ylang ylang + 5 drops lavender
  • Morning Dew: 32 drops magnolia + 10 drops clary sage + 6 drops juniper berry
  • Magnolia Magic: 35 drops magnolia + 12 drops Peru balsam + drops 8 pink grapefruit
  • Soft Petals: 30 drops magnolia + 10 drops jasmine absolute + 10 drops copaiba oleoresin

The amounts above are enough to scent four 2.5-oz / 70 g bars of soap. Adjust these amounts to create a smaller or larger batch. As mentioned before, the 2.5 ml bottle from Plant Therapy is enough for all blends.

bar of homemade magnolia soap on a board.

How to make magnolia soap

Magnolia soap is super easy to make! It takes a total of 30 minutes prep time + 30 minutes in the freezer, which makes it a great craft project for every day. Let’s go over each step:

1. Cut soap

Slice the soap base into small chunks, so it melts more evenly.

2. Melt soap base

Place the soap chunks into a large, microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Melt in the microwave in 45-second increments until you reach the point where all the pieces have melted. Have the microwave setting on medium. Stir between each heating.

3. Add scent and other ingredients

Add the magnolia essential oil (or blend if using), vitamin E, and sodium PCA. Gently stir the soap a couple of times until the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the soap.

4. Pour soap

Place the soap mold on a cutting board or tray. This allows you to lift and move the mold later. Pour the melted soap into the mold and fill each cavity to the rim.

5. Dissolve bubbles

Immediately after pouring, spray the surface of the soap with high-proof alcohol to dissolve air bubbles. Feel free to skip this step if you don’t mind a few bubbles on the back of your soap.

6. Let soap harden

Let the soap harden at room temperature, which takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Alternatively, place the soap mold in the freezer, where the soap will solidify in about 20 to 30 minutes.

8. Unmold magnolia soap

Once the soap feels solid to the touch, unmold the soap bars. Gently pull the mold away from the soap to break the airlock. Then, pop each piece out of the mold.

9. Mix mica paint

In a small mixing bowl, combine pink mica powder with enough high-proof alcohol to create a thick, smooth mixture. Since the alcohol evaporates quickly, you may have to add more as you paint.

10. Decorate soap (optional)

Pick up some mica paint with a soft, flat brush. Place the paintbrush at one end of the oval and draw on streaks to represent magnolia petals. Allow drying. Your homemade magnolia soap is ready!

Tips for success

We all want our soap to be fragrant and good-looking. Here are my best tips to ensure your magnolia soap recipe becomes a success.

  • Cut the soap base into small chunks. It’s worth chopping the soap base into small pieces, so the soap melts faster and more evenly. 1/2 in / 1.3 cm chunks are a good size.
  • Don’t overheat the soap base. You only need to heat until the base melts and no further. Only melt for 30 to 45 seconds at a time and stir between heatings to see when the soap chunks have fully melted.
  • Once melted, work pretty quickly. Melt and pour soap forms a skin, so you want to incorporate in the essential oils and other ingredients fairly fast.
  • Quickly reheat the soap if it becomes too thick for pouring. You can do this in the microwave while the soap is still in the glass jug. A few seconds is all you need. Too much heat can evaporate the fragrance.
  • Try not to introduce bubbles as you stir the soap. To create a smooth finish, spritz the surface of the soap with high-proof alcohol (rubbing alcohol) immediately after pouring it into the mold.
top shot of magnolia soap bars on a wooden board.

How to use magnolia soap

You use magnolia soap as you would use any other bar soap. First, wet your hands with clean, running water. Then, turn off the tap and rub the soap bar between your palms. Lather the back of your hands and between your fingers. Scrub for at least 20 seconds, then rinse off with plenty of water. Easy!

Can I use the soap to cleanse my body?

Of course! Make the soap part of your shower routine and experience gentle cleansing. It’s wonderful to wash your body, but avoid it to cleanse the face.

Storage & shelf life

Packaging magnolia melt and pour soap

Wrap each soap bar tightly in plastic wrap (cling film) to protect it from moisture, humidity, and dust.

Melt-and-pour soap contains glycerin, a water-attracting humectant. Water pulls out the glycerin from the soap, which then forms tiny beads on the surface of the soap.

This effect is called “glycerin dew.” Glycerin dew is harmless, and you can still use your soap, but it will impact the quality and shelf life.

How to store magnolia soap

When not in use, store your magnolia soap recipe in a dry, dark, and cool location such as a drawer, cupboard, or lidded box.

To preserve the essential oil and active ingredients, avoid keeping the soap in sunny spots. Storing in direct sunlight will affect the light-sensitive magnolia oil and change its chemical composition.

How long will it last?

Homemade magnolia soap will be good for 9 months to 1 year. After a year, the magnolia scent begins to fade, and the soap starts to dry out. For the best experience, I recommend enjoying your soap within 12 months of making it.

Ingredient details

  • Magnolia essential oil provides a natural fragrance and skincare benefits. I recommend the 2.5 ml bottle from Plant Therapy. Their magnolia oil is of the highest quality and will give you perfectly scented magnolia soap.
  • Melt-and-pour soap is an easy-to-use meltable base to make soap bars. Goat milk soap base or a vegan-friendly shea butter base is ideal for this magnolia soap recipe.
  • Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant andhas a moisturizing and nourishing effect. It helps to combat free radical damage and helps the skin absorb and store moisture.
  • Sodium PCA is a component of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF). As a humectant, it hydrates by attracting and trapping water in the skin and helps to restore the skin’s protective barrier. The ingredient also boasts skin-soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. For more uses, try this DIY spray lotion and rose water toner.
  • Pink mica (optional): I used pink mica powder to create a “paint” to decorate my magnolia soap bars with painted magnolia petals.
  • High-proof alcohol: You need high-proof alcohol in a spray bottle to dissolve bubbles and mix the mica paint. Denatured alcohol (e.g., rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol), 190-proof Everclear, or high-proof vodka are good options.

More spring soap recipes

Melt-and-pour soap is a wonderful way to get started with soap making. Rather than dealing with lye, you can be creative with your additions and create all sorts of soap recipes. Here are a few more spring-inspired soap-making ideas that you should definitely try!

magnolia soap recipe.

Magnolia Soap Recipe

Yield: 4 soap bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This homemade magnolia soap recipe features a dewy magnolia scent and is packed with skin-loving ingredients. The moisturizing soap is easy to make and comes together quickly thanks to a melt-and-pour base and luxurious magnolia oil.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cut soap. Slice the soap base into small chunks, so it melts more evenly.
  2. Melt soap base. Place the soap chunks into a large, microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Melt in the microwave in 45-second increments until you reach the point where all the pieces have melted. Have the microwave setting on medium. Stir between each heating.
  3. Add scent and other ingredients. Add the magnolia essential oil (or blend if using), vitamin E, and sodium PCA. Gently stir the soap a couple of times until the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the soap.
  4. Pour soap. Place the soap mold on a cutting board or tray. This allows you to lift and move the mold later. Pour the melted soap into the mold and fill each cavity to the rim.
  5. Dissolve bubbles. Immediately after pouring, spray the surface of the soap with high-proof alcohol to dissolve air bubbles. Feel free to skip this step if you don’t mind a few bubbles on the back of your soap.
  6. Let soap harden. Let the soap harden at room temperature, which takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Alternatively, place the soap mold in the freezer, where the soap will solidify in about 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Unmold magnolia soap. Once the soap feels solid to the touch, unmold the soap bars. Gently pull the mold away from the soap to break the airlock. Then, pop each piece out of the mold.
  8. Mix mica paint. In a small mixing bowl, combine pink mica powder with enough high-proof alcohol to create a thick, smooth mixture. Since the alcohol evaporates quickly, you may have to add more as you paint.
  9. Decorate soap (optional). Pick up some mica paint with a soft, flat brush. Place the paintbrush at one end of the oval and draw on streaks to represent magnolia petals.
  10. Allow drying. Your homemade magnolia soap is ready!

Notes

Package

Wrap each soap bar tightly in plastic wrap (cling film) to protect it from moisture, humidity, and dust. Melt-and-pour soap contains glycerin, a water-attracting humectant. Water pulls out the glycerin from the soap, which then forms tiny beads on the surface of the soap. This effect is called “glycerin dew.” Glycerin dew is harmless, and you can still use your soap, but it will impact the quality and shelf life.


Store

When not in use, store your magnolia soap recipe in a dry, dark, and cool location such as a drawer, cupboard, or lidded box. To preserve the essential oil and active ingredients, avoid keeping the soap in sunny spots. Storing in direct sunlight will affect the light-sensitive magnolia oil and change its chemical composition.


Use

You use magnolia soap as you would use any other bar soap. First, wet your hands with clean, running water. Then, turn off the tap and rub the soap bar between your palms. Lather the back of your hands and between your fingers. Scrub for at least 20 seconds, then rinse off with plenty of water.

Recommended Products

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FAQ

How many soap bars does this recipe make?

This magnolia melt-and-pour soap recipe makes four 2.5 oz / 70 g soap bars. I used this elegant oval soap mold. Of course, the yield might change if you make the soap with another mold.

What does magnolia soap smell like?

This homemade magnolia soap offers a well-rounded floral, slightly sweet scent with notes of honey, green tea, and cinnamon. Soft and feminine, the scent is absolutely delightful!
 
While I adore pure magnolia soap, you can find additional magnolia soap scent ideas above. These blends allow you to customize the soap fragrance according to your personal preferences.

What is magnolia essential oil?

The floral oil is steam-distilled from the highly fragrant blossoms of the magnolia tree. The floral oil is hailing from China and Thailand. I have written a dedicated post about magnolia essential oil, where you can learn more about this beautiful oil.

Can I use magnolia fragrance oil?

Yes, you can scent the soap with magnolia fragrance oil if preferred. Although fragrance oil is synthetically created, it is more affordable compared to magnolia essential oil.
You can find magnolia fragrance oil on Amazon. Wholesale Supplies Plus offers a magnolia fragrance oil that has received stellar reviews.

Can I make this soap with other scents?

Absolutely! This moisturizing soap recipe turns out lovely with other scents, too. Lavender, rose, jasmine, and ylang ylang are good alternatives to magnolia essential oil. And if you desire a similar scent sans the high price tag, try rhododendron essential oil.

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